Stride Place was taken over on the weekend, but not by the crowd you might expect. The Portage Cup has been busy at Stride Place, but the ice was covered this weekend as a cheerleading competition was held in the main arena.
The event was put on by Central Cheer out of Winnipeg, and Laura Pott, a member of Cheer Manitoba, says it's a first for the province.
"This, actually, is the first two-day competition we've ever had in Manitoba. Our regular comps (competitions) tend to be, or have always been, one day."
Pott notes that Central Cheer hadn't found a suitable venue to host a two-day event, but Stride Place met their requirements.
"The venue is perfect for a cheer competition. That's one of the things that we struggle with in Manitoba. There is a huge lack of venues that are capable of accommodating us." She adds, "It's not just about capacity for spectators. We need a specific ceiling height. We need room; behind the curtain, there's a whole warm-up area. We need to accommodate athletes, we need to accommodate judges. So, finding somewhere that accommodate us is amazing, and we're hoping to be back here again next year."
The event offered a grand prize of $5,000 for the winning squad, which Pott hopes will go toward a team trying to go to Summit or Worlds, two levels of international competition.
Now that word is out about the competition, Pott explains that the event has several other teams from outside the province interested in coming next year, with teams from Saskatchewan and Alberta hoping to make the trip.